- September 25, 2022
Awara Guide on Opening Bank Accounts in Reliable Jurisdictions. Chapter 3: Armenia.
We continue our series on opening bank accounts in trusted jurisdictions. Read about opening a bank account in Armenia with help from Yeghiazaryan & Partners Law Firm — our local Yerevan based partner.
1. How to open a bank account in Armenia. First steps.
The procedure of opening a bank account in Armenia depends on the specific bank, but there are some common features.
It all starts with obtaining the necessary information from our client, preferences and wishes. As example, it is important to know whether the client intends to open an account as a private person or as a legal entity. Depending on the provided information we should know the nationality of the person, and in case of legal entity — its legal form, type of activity, information about the founders, etc.
Then we review options among the existing Armenian banks and offer the client the most favorable and convenient option. If the client agrees, the process of preparing the necessary package of documents begins, which depends on both, the selected bank and the client’s specifics.
After the preparation of documents, we accompany the client to visit then bank personally for registration, where the application for opening a bank account is filled inand the necessary documents are submitted to the bank. The application process takes from 5 to 14 days, depending on the specific bank and business, after receiving a positive answer, the client comes to the bank to sign a contract for banking services and pay the required fees for opening accounts, which depends on the selected bank.
2. What documents are required? Is it necessary for the General Director of the Russian company to be present in person or can this be done by power of attorney?
The list of documents depends on a number of factors.
If the client is a private individual he/she will need the documents proving his/her identity, both original and notarized translations, documents confirming the client’s domestic interests in the Republic of Armenia, documents confirming the person’s ability to pay, as well as his/her residence permit and temporary residence permit (if any).
If the client is an individual entrepreneur, the state registration certificate, the documents certifying the identity of the individual entrepreneur and the data of the individual entrepreneur, in particular, the documents confirming the existence of his vital interests in Armenia and the documents confirming his solvency.
If the client is a legal entity, the list of documents depends on its legal form, type of activity, chosen bank, etc. Generally, it is the charter, state registration certificate and other founding documents (as prescribed by the laws of the particular country), documents certifying the identity of the founder(s) and information about them, as well as a number of other documents.
Also, please note that in some cases the bank may request other documents for individuals, sole proprietorships, and legal entities.
Unfortunately, in Armenia it is not possible to apply for an account opening either remotely or by power of attorney, without the personal presence of the person(s) for whom the account is opened. The person should be present when filing the application, and only after a positive answer is received the bank can receive the power of attorney for you to sign the agreement and pay the installment. And the power of attorney can be both notarial and drawn up directly in the desired bank in your personal presence and the presence of an attorney.
3. Does a Russian company have to open a legal entity in Armenia to open a bank account? If yes, does the general director have to be an Armenian citizen?
In case there is no registered legal entity (including a subsidiary or representative office) in the Republic of Armenia, the probability of approval of your application is very low. With regard to the citizenship of the Director General, currently there are no restrictions and requirements in connection with the Armenian citizenship. However, if the CEO is not a citizen of the Eurasian Economic Union, it is mandatory to obtain a work permit (there are exceptions).
4. How long does it take to open an account?
The process itself takes from 5 to 14 working days depending on the bank and the business.
5. Can I transfer money from Armenia to Russia or is there a risk that these transfers will be blocked due to sanctions?
Depending on the bank policy they may block the transfer, but many banks in Armenia are free to make transfers from/to Russia.
6. Are there currently any sanctions against Russia, Russian companies or individuals that restrict them from opening bank accounts?
There are no sanctions against Russia, Russian companies or individuals in Armenia.
7. Have you already assisted Russian companies in opening bank accounts?
Yes, of course. Our firm has been recognized in the market for several years as one of the leaders in this area, not only for Russian companies, but also for companies all over the world.
8. Can I issue a corporate virtual card to make online payments (for example, to pay for Adobe Photoshop and other online services)?
You can make online payments with a debit card (Visa or Master) issued after opening a bank account. A virtual corporate card is issued in some banks to individuals, but not yet issued to legal entities.
9. Do I need a local SIM-card to confirm bank transactions (sign bank payments)?
If the system of confirmation by SMS messages is chosen, a local SIM card is required. Most banks also give the option of confirming transactions with a token.
10. Which banks would you recommend for opening accounts for Russian companies and individuals?
The choice of a bank depends on many factors. But we have been working with Evokabank CJSC and Ardshinbank CJSC for a long time, because our firm has a good communication and cooperation process with them.
11. Is it possible to open an account as a person (not a company) and can you help with that?
It is possible, but for that you need to have some domestic interests in Armenia (residence in Armenia, registration, lease contract, employment contract, or entrepreneurial activity in Armenia, etc.). The more justified these criteria are, the more probable is the approval of the application by the Bank.
12. How can Russian individuals/companies manage their accounts in Armenia from abroad? Do all banks provide the possibility of online banking?
Russian individuals/companies can manage their Armenian bank accounts through online banking without any restrictions and without the need for personal presence, but in case of a suspicious transaction the bank may request to provide substantiating documents, so it is better to leave a power of attorney for an Armenian resident.
13. To summarize, briefly describe the process of opening an account in Armenia with approximate terms for each stage.
Thus, the list of documents for opening a bank account for individuals and legal entities is much different. However, in general, the process and steps to open an account are similar. It is important to remember that presently in Armenia it is not possible to apply for opening a bank account remotely (with the exception of ID bank, where it is possible to apply online, but when the application is approved you have to come to the bank in person) or by the power of attorney without personal presence. And there are no sanctions against Russia, Russian companies or individuals in Armenia, which is a definite advantage.
Awara Guide on opening bank accounts in UAE, China, Serbia.
Together with our reliable and professional partner in Armenia we’ll find the best way to support your company, to ensure smooth operations and reduce the sanction risk! Contact us for questions or a quote.
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